DC Parking Tickets Unpaid By Congress Members

6:37 AM, Mar 30, 2011   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) - Some members of Congress have been ignoring the parking tickets and tickets prompted by cameras that record red light and speeding violations, and some have been doing it for years.

The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call recorded the license plates and parking permits on cars in congressional parking lots on the Hill and at Reagan National Airport, and compared them to the city's public records data base to see what members had outstanding tickets.

"There is about $15,000 in outstanding tickets as of mid-March and, of those, about three-fourths, $11,500 is actually delinquent, meaning the tickets have been out for 60 days and, in some cases years, and they haven't been paid," said Roll Call writer Jennifer Yachnin, who did the spade work on the story.

"I am a bit surprised," said DC Mayor Vincent Gray.

"I think that anybody who owes tickets, congressional representatives or others, should pay their tickets," he told 9News Now.

"We wish they would pay up because we can use the revenue," Gray said.

"Now that it's been brought to light, help us out with the big budget deficit that we face for the next fiscal year, just pay up the tickets," Gray said.

Representatives Anthony Weiner of New York and Bennie Thompson of Mississippi each had hundreds of dollars in back tickets, and paid them as the newspaper was working on the story.

The $15 thousand figure for unpaid tickets by those on The Hill is probably low. Because of federal privacy laws, not all license plats and congressional parking stickers could be traced.

The Roll Call team found one car in the congressional lot at Reagan National Airport with more than $1100 in tickets in November and December alone. Another vehicle in the Rayburn House Office Building Garage had more than $1300 in tickets. Neither was included in that $15000 figure.

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